THE PERSO-AFGHAN QUESTION 445 medium. So, distinct 'from God, there is a Primal Will which becomes incarnate in the prophets. This Primal Will spoke in the Bab, and will speak in c him whom God shall manifest' ; and after him through others, for there is no cessation in these manifestations." Browne points out that the doctrines " formed together a system bold, original and, to the Persian mind, singularly attractive ; but, taken separately, there was hardly one of which he could claim to be the author, and not very many which did not mount to a remote antiquity." He goes on to point out that the title of Bab1 had been already .assumed by the four intimates of the Twelfth Imam, and that other theories advanced were those of the Ismailis. Even the virtues of the number nineteen, the " Number of the Unity," were not new. I have made no special -study of Babiism, as for an official this would be difficult, and my connexion with members of the sect has been principally confined to saving their lives in times of persecution. Students, however, notice that in its modern development there is an increas- ingly close connexion with Christian ideals and practices in Western Asia, whereas in Persia the converts remain practically Moslems of the Shia sect and find difficulty in assimilating the spirit of the new teaching. The Fortunes of the Babis.ŚMirza Yahya, a youth of nineteen known as Subh-i-Ezel, or "Morning of Eternity," who had apparently been nominated by the Bab, succeeded him after his execution, and for some years (from 1850-68) his position was undisputed. In 1852, owing to the per- secution referred to below, he fled to Baghdad, and ten years later he and his followers were transferred to Adrianople at the request of the Shah. The Subh-i-Ezel was too peace-loving and unworldly to control a community of enthusiasts, and gradually the direction of affairs fell entirely into the hands of his elder half-brother, the Baha Ulla, or "Splendour of God." 1 The Shaykhis of Kerman (Ten Thousand Miles, etc^ p. 196) claim for their leader that he is a Shia-i-Kamil, or " Perfect Shia," who serves as a " Channel of Grace" between the absent Imam and his church. I am afraid that I offended the late head of the Shaykhis, for whom I had great respect, by writing that the " Channel of Grace' did not differ materially from the " Gate."